A historic sculpture celebrating the many generations of people who have lived in Saint John was officially unveiled by Mayor Mel Norton on Harbour Passage today.
The artwork, entitled Shards of Time, was created for the Harbour Passage site, by award-winning New Brunswick sculptor Peter Powning as a result of a national competition conducted by Saint John 225 in 2010, as part of the celebrations associated with Saint John’s 225th anniversary and its designation as a Cultural Capital of Canada by the Government of Canada. Shards of Time is intended to be a permanent legacy of Saint John’s 225th anniversary.
The main structure is a representation of a pottery bowl that is considered typical from the Late Maritime archeological era, representative of the Paleo-Indian peoples who are believed to have lived in the area as long as 11,000 years ago. The vessel, which weighs approximately 6 tons and is roughly 12 feet in diameter, 18 feet wide and 10 feet high, is fragmented – or in shards. It appears to be half buried, recreating the feeling of an archeological site.
Encircling the shards is a cast bronzed band that contains imprints of objects from Saint John’s past. Wax impressions of items submitted by institutions, organizations, and the general public, were integrated into the artwork.
“This piece is a wonderful addition to the Saint John waterfront,” said Mayor Norton. “People will be able to explore their history by walking around Shards of Time and looking at the hundreds of artifacts represented in it. Peter Powning’s design is a fitting tribute to our history and heritage.”
Peter Buckland, Chair of the Saint John 225, said “We have been waiting to see this beautiful artwork come to completion. It is a thoughtful piece that truly involved the community in the creation process and, hopefully will present rich educational opportunities to citizens and visitors.”
Powning and his team were selected by a seven-member jury from a group of 26 submissions from across Canada.
The work was planned to be completed and installed along Harbour Passage in 2011. The refurbishment of the Saint John Harbour Bridge resulted in delays.